Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Every dog has his day... but not today!
The Detroit Red Wings finally solved the Ilya Bryzgalov riddle, shelling this year's number one candidate for the Vezina trophy with four goals in a second period turn to reality for the Phoenix Coyotes. A twenty minute blitz of shots, hits and goals that brought to an end the Cinderella Coyotes season and perhaps saved Gary Bettman from a lot of splaining to do!
The Red Wings appeared more like the Stanley Cup champions they once were as they directed 50 shots at Bryzgalov, rattling the entire Coyote roster with their sudden crushing dominance of the pivotal game seven match up.
It might have been a 6-0 final If not for a mental lapse on the part of the Red Wings Jimmy Howard, who let in a poor goal off of a faceoff that almost gave the Coyotes hope, yet the Wings veteran team that they are simply increased the tempo and took back control of the game, the crushing blow coming with a solid penalty kill that was rewarded with Brad Stuart's goal as he climbed out of the penalty box, the goal just seconds before the end of the second period seemed to send the message that the series was done and the Phoenix fans could possibly give some thought to what their team will do in the off season, or maybe not judging on past precedent.
Outside of the Red Wings front office and the fans back home, perhaps the most relieved person of the night was the NHL Commissioner, he certainly must have been getting nervous watching a team that the other 29 team owners was subsidizing continue on its quest for Lord Stanley's Cup, while it was all good fun that they were the success story of the season, winning the Cup with money from the House of Bettman, funded by the collective perhaps might not have been quite so humorous to the fellow share holders.
As things end up the Coyotes wrap up their season feeling pretty good about themselves, their management team wins accolades for persevering under extremely difficult circumstances and their coach and goal tender may very well find themselves up on the stage in Las Vegas in June collecting awards for their years work.
For the fans the challenge now is to translate this sudden infatuation with the sport into concrete devotion, for the most part of the season Coyote games were known for two things the large number of empty spaces inside the rink and the number of out of towners who arrived knowing that if ever there was a chance for a cheap seat close to the action Phoenix was the place.
Should the NHL be correct about all of its talking points in the last year, this is we imagine the beginning of the Coyote renaissance era, providing negotiations with potential new owner Jerry Reinsdorf come to fruition, he would apparently be ready to lead them to the next phase of their development.
Then again, if attendance and interest returns to the levels of the regular season, one wonders how long a man well versed in his financials as Reinsdorf will give for hockey to truly take hold in the desert.
If somehow, as not beyond the realm of possibility, the Reinsdorf deal falters, one wonders if perhaps Tuesday night was the last night for hockey in Glendale.
There was lots to be fascinated about the Coyotes this year, their season was a fairly remarkable achievement, their playoff run one to talk about for more than a few years we imagine, but considering the nature of their franchise at the moment, the best thing (not for the truly devoted Coyote fans) but perhaps for the NHL, was that the Red Wings finally found their scoring touch when it mattered most.
Globe and Mail-- Wings spoil Coyotes party
National Post-- Datsyuk, Detroit end Coyotes' season with 6-1 rout
Detroit Free Press-- Powerhouse Red Wings prevail over workhorse Coyotes
Detroit News-- Red Wings 6, Coyotes 1: Wings storm to victory in desert
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes' storied season ends with tough loss
SI.com-- Key three minutes power Wings past Coyotes and into West semis